As Rolf Ekeus, the Executive Chairman of United Nations Special Commission charged with eliminating Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, embarked on a visit to Baghdad, the Security Council this morning demanded once again that the Commission's inspection teams be given immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to all areas, equipment, facilities, records and means of transportation which they might wish to inspect and to Iraqi officials they might want to interview.
In a statement on its behalf by its President, Tono Eitel (Germany), the Council stated that Iraq's repeated denials of such access and its attempts to impose conditions on the interviewing of Iraqi officials by the Commission constitutes a gross violation of resolutions 687 (1991), 707 (1991) and 715 (1991). It expressed grave concern at Iraqi's failure to comply fully with resolution 1060 (1996) of 12 June and other resolutions on the Commission.
Noting that such actions contradicted the Government's commitments in its 22 June joint statement with the Commission, the Council urged Iraq to respect those commitments. It requested Mr. Ekeus to report on the results of his visit, adding that it would continue considering how best to ensure Iraq's full compliance.
The Council strongly reaffirmed its full support for the Commission's inspections and underlined the important role of the inspection teams.
One of the three Commissions created under resolution 687 (1991), which established cease-fire terms between Iraq, Kuwait and other States, the United Nations Special Commission implements the internationally supervised elimination of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, long-range ballistic missile capabilities and the monitoring of Iraq's compliance with relevant resolutions.
The Council meeting, begun at 10:48 a.m., was adjourned at 10:52 a.m.
Security Council - 2 - Press Release SC/6259 3691st Meeting (AM) 23 August 1996
The full text of the statement, to be issued as document S/PRST/1996/36, reads as follows:
The Security Council, on the eve of the planned visit to Baghdad by the Executive Chairman of the Special Commission, strongly reaffirms its full support for the Special Commission in the conduct of its inspections and the other tasks entrusted to it by the Council. The Security Council reiterates the importance it attaches to full compliance by Iraq with the relevant resolutions of the Council. It underlines the important role of the Special Commission's inspection teams and demands once again that they be given immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to any and all areas, facilities, equipment, records and means of transportation which they wish to inspect, and Iraqi officials whom they wish to interview, so that the Special Commission may fully discharge its mandate.
In this context, the Security Council remains gravely concerned at the failure by Iraq to comply fully with its resolution 1060 (1996) of 12 June 1996 and with other resolutions of the Council dealing with the Special Commission. The denial by Iraq, on repeated occasions, of immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to sites which they wished to inspect and the attempts made by the Government of Iraq to impose conditions on the conduct of interviews with Iraqi officials by the Special Commission constitute a gross violation of its obligations under resolutions 687 (1991), 707 (1991) and 715 (1991). The Council notes that these actions also contradict commitments made by the Government of Iraq in its Joint Statement of 22 June 1996 with the Special Commission, and urges the Government of Iraq to respect these commitments. The Council reminds the Government of Iraq that only full compliance with its obligations under the relevant resolutions will enable the Executive Chairman of the Special Commission to present his report in accordance with Section C of resolution 687 (1991). The Council will continue to consider how best to ensure Iraq's full compliance.
The Security Council requests the Executive Chairman to report to it on the results of his visit.
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